Persuasive Essay Writing
Introducing the Lesson
Writing persuasive essays can be both fun and challenging for students. I usually begin my persuasive essay unit with brainstorming ways people are persuaded. This almost always leads to advertising. I usually select half a dozen or so current commercials to show in class. These encourage students to think creatively. Students especially enjoy Super Bowl commercials.
These links take you to a series of four blog posts going over different persuasive techniques. Each post provides a definition. Some contain a list of “Questions to Think About.” Embedded in each post, you will find a series of commercials that illustrate the device.
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Ten Interesting Facts . . . .
The Great Depression
Black TuesdayOn October 29, 1929, the stock market lost $14 billion. During the week of Black Tuesday, the stock market lost $30 billion. This would be equivalent to $377,587,032,770.41 today.
Dorothea Lange’s photo of Florence Thompson with several of her children has become a moving symbol of the Great Depression.
In the photo, Florence Thompson was age 32 years old. She had seven children. Florence was a migrant pea picker in California. This photo was taken in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California.
Average Rate of Unemployment during the Great Depression
The board game Monopoly became a big success when it first went on the market in 1935. Players could pretend to be rich. This was a nice break from the reality of the depression.
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Writing a Research Essay
The Common Core State Standards as well as many state standards require students write short research projects. This can be an overwhelming and frustrating assignment for many students in the upper elementary grades. Due to this, all fourth through sixth graders at our school begin research projects in January using the same note taking method. While this is not the only method for note taking, it works beautifully with this age range. Once sixth graders have graduated from elementary school, they have created a minimum of three research projects using this method, most have created more, and are proficient in this method.
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Ten Interesting Facts . . . . The Holocaust
Raoul Wallenberg was the First Secretary to the Swedish Embassy in Budapest in July 1944. He is credited with rescuing more Jewish people during the Holocaust than any other person or nation. Wallenberg rescued around 100,000 people. He did this by issuing “protective passports.” Wallenberg also rented over 30 buildings to house Jewish refugees. In front of these buildings, he flew the Swedish flag. He also put up fake signs reading “The Swedish Research Institute.”
Giovanni Palatucci was an Italian police official and lawyer. He used his authority as Chief of the Foreigners’ Office to forge travel papers for Jewish people. This permitted hundreds of Jews an escape to Fiume where they settled. Palatucci also destroyed documented records for 5,000 Jewish refugees. This prevented them from being sent to concentration camps.
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In preparation for Carousel Brainstorming, you will need four markers: one black and three different colors based on group colors. Using a black marker, write titles on the top of three pieces of chart paper. Place the chart paper in three locations around the classroom.
Divide the students into three different groups. Using the different colored name badges is the most efficient way to prepare for grouping the students.
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1. Lincoln’s Hat Shot
In August 1863 while Abraham Lincoln was heading home from the White House, someone took a shot at him. The bullet went through his hat. Lincoln asked the guards to keep the incident quiet because he did not want to worry his wife.
2. Fort Sumter
The first confrontation of the Civil War took place on April 12, 1861 when Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter beginning the war. The war ended on April 9, 1865 when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House. The beginning and ending dates were used in creating the title of the Civil War novel Across Five Aprils.
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